Employers Engage with St. John’s Students at Spring Career and Internship Expo

April 12, 2024

In an age of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital recruiting, companies continue to visit St. John’s University to search for talent.

They did so most recently at the University Career Services’ 2024 Spring Career and Internship Expo on April 5. Held in Taffner Field House on the University’s Queens, NY, campus, the always-anticipated event attracted 110 employers from various sectors, including finance, government, sports, health, and insurance.

Among those companies was Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health-care provider and private-sector employer, serving New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. Northwell representatives noted the attractiveness of the University’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.

“We are grooming our next generation of nurses and health-care professionals, and think what St. John’s is doing with its nursing school is great,” said Carole James, a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Northwell Health.

Recruiters collected various information from St. John’s students, including résumés and LinkedIn profiles. Jaclyn Cappello, a recruiter for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), hoped to fill research and other positions. CSHL, a biomedical research and education center in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, is home to 600 scientists.

“We look for students with research experience they might have acquired in their junior and senior years at St. John’s,” Ms. Cappello said. “But students from other backgrounds should not be deterred; there are other ways you can support the lab. We have openings for teachers, accountants, and more.”

AI has reshaped corporate recruiting, but Career Services’ two annual career fairs—one in the fall semester and another in the spring—remain essential connectors for students and employers, according to Paulette Gonzalez-Sierchio, Assistant Vice President, University Career Services.

“As artificial intelligence is revolutionizing talent acquisition, the power of genuine human connection remains essential,” Ms. Gonzalez-Sierchio explained. “Students and alumni want to engage with employers to identify the best fit. Likewise, employers are looking to connect meaningfully as they seek out exceptional St. John’s candidates. The Career Expo is valuable for students to explore and connect.”

Indeed, recruiters, regardless of career field, agreed that St. John’s students stand out in their ability to carry on a meaningful conversation in an interview setting.

“We want to see a good résumé, of course, but you must be able to speak to the points you have made on your résumé,” said Steve DiPardo’07TCB, Tax Principal, BDO USA, and a member of the Department of Accountancy Advisory Board. “That is why having a conversation is so important. At the end of an interview, I often ask myself, ‘How do I feel about putting this person in front of a client?’”

The two career fairs are University Career Services’ most exciting and best-attended events. Career Services offered a “prepare for the fair” series of workshops for students in the weeks ahead of the spring event.

As in previous fairs, recruiters included several St. John’s alumni returning to their alma mater to represent their companies. Alyssa Popov ’10TCB, ’11MS is Tax Senior Manager at BDO USA, a global public accounting, tax, consulting, and business advisory firm. She reminisced about her time at St. John’s, while acknowledging the potential of those Johnnies about to enter the workplace.

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business was good when I went, and I can only imagine how much better it is now,” Ms. Popov said. “The business school graduates here are very professional compared with what I have seen at other career fairs.”

Besides networking, the fair offered students an opportunity to enhance their job application packages. Students received feedback and career advice from St. John’s advisers and updated their LinkedIn profiles with free, University-provided professional headshots.

Waiting in line for headshots, students discussed their plans, the opportunities they were pursuing, and what companies they seemed to have their eyes on.

Isabella Cautero is a senior Journalism student at The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies. While at the University, she discovered a passion for the sports industry and decided to pursue a Master of Professional Studies degree in Sport Management at St. John's.

“St. John’s made me realize my passion for both journalism and sport management,” Isabella said. “Attending this fair is a great opportunity to network, get my foot in the door, and plan for the future.”

Similarly, Alexis Graziano is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Homeland Security with a minor in Business Law. Ahead of graduation, she tried to get a sense of the job market and network with companies in the private and public sectors.

“I am nervous but enthusiastic about what lies ahead,” Alexis said. “Looking for a job is hard, but I will be fine because St. John’s has provided me with all the tools and support I need to get hired.”